The Niger Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NCCIMA) says the recent spate of insecurity in the Northern parts of the country has made the region unattractive to investors.
President of NCCIMA, Alh. Abdul Hassan, said this on Thursday in Minna at the inauguration of the 17th Niger National Trade-fair.
Hassan decried a situation where insecurity had made doing business in the North impossible.
“This trade fair came with its attendant challenges, most especially fear of our brothers from other parts of the country that all parts of the North are infested with kidnappers.
“All attempts to convince them to come fell on deaf ears.
“If the security situation continues this way in this region, doing business in the North may be impossible,” he said.
According to Hassan, there ware communities in the region whose farmers no longer go to the farm for fear of being attacked by bandits.
“When they eventually go, they end up being attacked by bandits and they end up paying ransom to the bandits or risk being injured or killed,” he said.
He, however, stressed the need for states to be active in trade fairs organised by their counterparts in all parts of the country.
The NCCIMA president also decried the low participation of the 25 Local Government Areas of the state in the fair, saying that it would not augur well for the economic development of the state.
“Niger state has set the pace in the North as one of the states that hold their trade fairs on an annual basis in spite of the challenges.
“However, we need to attend other trade fairs for others to attend ours.
“Even while other states attend our trade fairs, the same cannot be said of the local government areas in Niger state.
“They barely attend our fairs and when they do, only few exhibit their wares.
“This situation is not good for our economic growth,” he said.
Inaugurating the fair, the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello said that the state government intended to partner with various organisations, countries and individuals participating at the fair depending on the prospects available.
Bello, who was represented by Alh. Mudi Mohammed, the state’s Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, praised NCCIMA for holding the fair against all the odds.
Director General NCCIMA, Alh. Adamu Salihu, said that 150 business organisations were expected to participate in the trade fair, but many could not because of security fears.
Earlier, Mr Eke Lawrence, an indigene of Imo and Coordinator of Securities and Exchange Commission pavilion at the fair, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the state was peaceful compared with what he heard before attending the fair.
Lawrence said that in the course of the fair, the commission created awareness on the operations of the capital market in the country.